Listen In – A$AP Rocky, Skrillex & more
Spark Arena, Auckland NZ
September 28th, 2018
3.5/5 stars
Reviewed by HAZEL REID

After successful runs in Australia, Listen Outs new cousin Listen In made its debut in Auckland last night to a packed house. A$AP Rocky, Skrillex, QUIX, Skepta and B Wise formed the line-up.

The all-ages crowd did present a bit of a weird vibe, it probably should have been R18 like it is at Listen Out in Australia. While fans were unhappy to hear the news of American rapper Lil Skies cancelling just days out from the event, up-and-comer B Wise jumped on to open the show.

Ahead of his tour in Australia and the US, QUIX returned home to take the stage at seven oclock. He delivered a high energy mix that had the crowd grooving, ready for the big night ahead. As the crowd built, there was a lot of hype in the crowd for Skepta, the UK-born musician bounded on stage as the crowd erupted in cheering. Lyrics, Numbers, Hypocrisy and Jumpy (Remix) were among the large performance list.

By Jessica Suo

One of the major crowd-pullers, A$AP Rocky set the stage on fire (literally – there was so much pyro) around 9 p.m., with slick graphics and two identically smashed cars on either side of the stage, circulating around his Testingset. A$AP was joined by a full band when the third song rolled around, telling the crowd to put their hands in the air – dedicating it to all of the crazy young hooligans out there.

A$APs set continued with L$D, Wild for the Night, Praise the Lord (Da Shine), slowing it down for A$AP Forever and Everyday. His mega tune with Drake, 2 Chainz & Kendrick Lamar, F**kinProblems couldnt be left off the list and the crowd really responded to that! A$AP clearly didnt want to leave the stage, announcing he wanted to keep going even though he knew he was running over time (the audience didnt seem to mind!).

By Jessica Suo

Closing off the evening, electronic favourite Skrillex arrived early – much to the delight of the restless crowd, mixing in a bit of kiwiana – a recording of the traditional haka to begin his set.

On another note, can we talk about how much the lighting guy was getting strobe happy though?! I truly hope no-one suffered last night because there were zero warnings that Skrillexs set (and part of the other artists) was going to have a horrendous amount of strobe! Lighting (strobe for this matter) can be over-kill and ruin a performance, which I believe is what happened here.

By Jessica Suo

Skrillex though, obviously trying to create a fun set while his audience was blinded, played his bangers that everyone sang along to – including some of his older tracks Summit and Kyoto. Skrillexs collab with Diplo and Justin Bieber – Where Are U Now, proved to be the hit of the night. He also chucked in kiwi duo Sachis remix of Lordes Green Light and even a Vengaboys song in the mix!

Speaking of the event on a whole, the security inside the arena were ineffective and a bit hopeless which brought down the night a bit. However, I hope that NZ gets to experience Listen In again next year. The Listen Out in Australia has over 22 acts, so we can only hope that 2019s Listen In builds on the five they had this year.

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